If I had to choose a favorite place to go between classes or after classes or on peaceful Sunday mornings, it would have to be Tisch Library roof. As college students, we often forget that it's literally impossible to be surrounded by friends and teachers and well... people every single moment of every single day without going a little crazy. We need space, and there's nothing wrong with admitting it to yourself. With saying it to other people. After all, we're all only human. And many of us have never shared a space as personal as a bedroom before in our lives. As someone who enjoys those moments of solitude and needs at a minimum an hour a day to myself to reflect and recharge, I find Tisch roof to be the perfect escape. Here I can do everything at my leisure with the beautiful skyline of Boston stretched out in front of me and keeping me company. I can read 300 pages of postwar Japanese literature, debate a counter-argument to my philosophy readings, forget about the fact that Econ homework is due at 11:59pm tonight, and take a little siesta to make up for that 8:30 Spanish class I regrettably signed up for. I can take a moment to forget my assignments, my worries, my troubles, my frets, my friends, etc., and focus on me and my writing. A cool breeze whips my hair back and forth, blinding my vision, whipping the pages of my notebook violently back and forth, and yet I welcome its company. I enjoy its life. It keeps me awake as I press pen to paper and immerse myself in my innermost thoughts, those thoughts that so often get neglected and aren't given the time of day during any other moment.
Here now, a sample of a silly little short story I wrote while on the roof today while drinking Tazo's calm chamomile tea and bobbing my head to some chill tunes playing too loudly in my headphones (I hope you enjoy):
"What's that?" he asked, pointing at the small red notebook pressed protectively against her chest. Its edges were frayed, a worn red ribbon dangling off the side and starting to swing limply from side to side as a slight breeze began to pick up on the library roof. The binding was dirty and worn from months of continuous opening and closing, the red elastic band barely able to contain the ink-stained pages bound within. They looked as though they were about to burst through the binding at any second. The boy tried to imagine it now, the book exploding: he saw the pages soaring, flying, caught in the wind; a flash of red yellow blue purple black brown gold. Colors, colors everywhere. He never knew it was possible to see so many colors in such little time. He pictured catching glimpses of stray words as they flew by, his arms reaching out in a desperate attempt to touch these words, to feel the rough texture of the page against his fingertips. And yet he knew he would not be fast enough - the girl's arms would outstretch his, grab faster, cling closer, for they were her words, and they bent at her will. She had created them, strung them together to form sentences, to find meaning, and for that they were grateful. And for that reason they only responded to her. She would catch each page long before he even had even begun to process what these words were, what they said. He barely had time to string one sentence together, take one small look into that which she protected so fiercely against her chest. And that frustrated him. No, it angered him. All he saw now was red. A burning, flaming red. For he wanted to know; he wanted to read. Why wouldn't she let him in? Why wasn't he capable of letting himself in? Suddenly he started: he had lost his train of thought and had been whisked back to reality, where the girl waited patiently.
"What was that?" The girl had responded, and yet he had been too lost in his own thoughts, running wild and rampant in his own imagination, to hear her. Sometimes the internal echoes of one's head roared far louder than any external sound. He pointed at the book again in an attempt to regain his thoughts. Where had he left off? Oh yes. He shook away all other thoughts, face flushed. He decided to ask the question again, despite the fact that he knew the girl had heard him the first time.
"What's that?" he asked again, timidly, awkwardly. It seemed so much more difficult asking the second time. He gazed quizzically at her, and then at the red cover. In the back of his head, a cascade of colors re-appeared, blinding him once more. No. He tried to shake them away again, yet they were already gone again. They had only come back momentarily. The girl smiled at him, and tapped one finger against the hard, red surface. The noise seemed to rattle through his head. It was as though she were tapping through his hair and his skin and his muscle, right into his skull. And yet it didn't hurt. It was a pleasant tapping, more of an innocent probe than anything else. He felt pleasure. Comfort. He wanted nothing more than to reach his hand out and tap her skull. Stupid. His cheeks burned red once more. He couldn't understand himself. What made him think he could understand her?
"Why this?" she said, and tapped once more against the surface, rattling his head. Rattling his brain. "Why... this is the inside of my brain."
"The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind." - Albert Einstein